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Question We have a situation where class 1 ESDS devices will need to be handled in a high voltage area (over 5.5 KV). Can you suggest a way to protect the ESDS devices but protect the operators at the same time? We were considering the use of ESD flooring but with insulating mats in the high voltage areas during "live" work. The employees would be grounded by footstraps (they must be mobile) ONLY in the areas without high voltages. Wrist straps will be worn in the high voltage area when the high voltage is off and removed when the high voltage is turned back on. Your comments would be truly welcomed and appreciated! -Anonymous, Concord, Ontario, Canada
Answer The safety of the operator always comes first over anything else, including an ESD control program. What you have described sounds like you have things under control. If ESD control grounding practices are going to be used in ‘high-voltage’ areas when the power is turned off, you might consider putting in some sort of safety locks to ensure the power cannot be accidentally turned on. Would also include a sign stating something to the effect that the operator should remove all grounding devices from their body. You would want to run this all by your local safety officer before implementing these practices.
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